Muse readers are constantly asking us: Why do I keep getting rejected from jobs?
It’s a common question without an easy answer—and that’s why we’re so happy that we could get five opinions from five real people on the possible reasons why.
1. Make Sure You’re Prepared
The good news is that you’re getting interviews! There are many variables as to why you’re not moving forward. Are you asking for the job? Often job seekers feel that they shouldn’t do so, but hiring managers want to feel you really want the position. Passion a key attribute they’re looking for. Let’s assume all the candidates you're up against are qualified. How do we differentiate ourselves? One way is to demonstrate your knowledge of the company, interviewer, and their challenges. Do your homework and weave this information into your answers. Link their challenges to your experience handling similar challenges. Connect the dots for them so they can grasp how easily you could transition into the role. Companies want problem solvers and you may be one, but are you conveying this on the interview? Engage the interviewer. Like any good conversationalist, you want to have a dialogue with the interviewer. And you want to keep them listening. Use stories to make your point. People remember stories. Your goal is to be memorable. Prepare more. In conducting mock interviews, I find most job seekers didn't do enough prep. Successful interviewing is all about the prep. Good luck.
2. Seek Outside Feedback
It’s no surprise that practice makes perfect, but what’s important is how you’re practicing. In the final stages of the hiring process, there are many intangibles that come into play, from direct connections to the hiring manager to overall knowledge of the position to appearing to be the best fit for the role.
At this point I think it is essential that you seek the help of a friend, industry professional, or coach to identify and combat any weaknesses in the interview. If you go about practicing on your own, it’s possible to make the same or similar mistakes. The goal is for your next interview to be your last interview.
3. Address Any Concerns
When the interview’s over, ask the interviewer if they have any concerns after speaking with you, or any area they’re still unsure about. Mention that since you’re there, you’d like the opportunity to address anything on the spot.
That way, there are no lingering hesitations in their mind. It’s bold but it’s worked in my experience. Ask the recruiters who reject you for feedback, more often than not, they’ll provide some sort of constructive criticism that will help you improve.
Preet Mehta, Account Executive
4. Ask Your Interviewer for Feedback
Handling rejection with no clear feedback as to why you didn’t get the job is tough, but take each rejection as an opportunity to learn as best you can. Asking the recruiter and hiring manager to give you some insight into what you could improve upon either in your skills or interview style is a great way to learn.
Another effective way to gain insight is to use tools like LinkedIn to look at the profile of the person the company hires into the position. Compare their profile to yours to ensure you have comparable skills and experiences. If you do, you know you’re pursuing the right positions for your level of experience and skills.
5. Make Sure It’s the Right Job
I feel your pain! I’ve been on dozens of interviews with no job offers and became self-employed and received no responses from the 50 cold emails I sent to potential clients for contract work. This is what I’ve learned and one (or all) of the below could apply to you as well.
1. Wrong job or field of work. Maybe you are looking in the wrong place and going after the wrong jobs. I was rejected for a lot of jobs because I kept going after what I really didn’t like and that was working in the healthcare field (I now work in the tech space).
2. I learned how to present myself in interviews and updated my resume. Your resume is getting you interviews so maybe it’s your communication or the way you interview.
3. It’s not the right time or the right company. Those jobs are probably not where you want to be. Some of the jobs I was rejected from turned out to be not-so-great companies.
4. Change your mindset. Write down what you prefer in an employer, team, and work environment and how you want to feel. Be specific. Now focus on what you have to offer and how you can help that company, team or manager.
This helped me because it gave me more confidence.
We hope these answers give you a little more insight into the interview process and how you could improve before the next one.